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- Breathtaking speed from a small crossover
- Plenty of optional goodies
- GTS model hits a performance sweet spot
- Fit and finish is perfectly Porsche
- Gets expensive in a hurry
- Oddly shaped cargo area
- Did we mention it can crest six figures?
- No manual transmission. Don’t even ask.
- Back seats aren’t really all that spacious
The 2018 Porsche Macan is the performance pick among compact crossovers because of course it is. Purists may scoff, but we don’t much care.
It didn’t take long after its arrival for the Porsche Macan to become the best-selling model from the luxury automaker. It satisfied not only the growing appetite for luxury crossover SUVs, but also the Macan supplied the performance that many expected from the Porsche badge.
The 2018 Porsche Macan is hitting its stride now. A year removed from a turbo-4 base model, the Macan stands pat in the Porsche lineup this year—you’d have to look hard to notice any change from last year. (Hint: Look for the embedded SIM card, which constitutes the biggest change for 2018.)
Inaction isn’t a bad thing here. The 2018 Porsche Macan still earns a good 7.2 on our overall scale with a few notes. Performance predictably rises with deeper pockets; the Macan Turbo’s available 440-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 is epic. And, like all Porsches, there is a wide range of exterior and interior possibilities that can elevate the Macan’s style. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The Macan stands alone in its shape, the Cayenne has moved on. We preferred the Macan’s approach anyhow; its curves and direct line to sports cars read better in our book than the outgoing Cayenne. Inside, the Macan’s buttons bombard passengers with a bevy of options—we’ll take it for as long as it lasts, the whole world’s a touchscreen nowadays.
Under the hood, the Macan asks first for a choice between a turbo-4 and a turbo-6, the latter offering several permutations from there. Base Macans get a turbo-4 that makes 252 hp that was new for last year. We haven’t driven that model.
From there, the Macan offers several bank-account draining variations of the turbo-6. Macan S offers 340 hp, Macan GTS ups it to 360 hp, Macan Turbo climbs the ladder to 400 hp, and the Macan Turbo with Performance Package is the pinnacle at 440 hp. All of the above are mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive. A fixed-steel setup of double wishbones up front and a rear multilink is standard on most models, upgradeable to an air suspension with adaptive dampers (standard on GTS versions).
Front passengers do fine, but asking for more than four in the Macan is asking for trouble. Its cargo hold isn’t entirely accommodating: 17.7 cubic feet by the numbers, but it feels smaller than that due to its shape.
Like the Porsche lineup, the Macan can be fitted with many thousands of dollars of optional extras that tip past six figures in top models.
Our advice? Start with a Macan S and add small touches like sport seats, an air suspension, and perhaps a few creature comforts. Opt for a Macan GTS if you’re the type of person who takes pleasure in the long way home.
You could find much more performance in a Macan Turbo—along with plenty of speeding tickets.